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Showing posts from 2014

Why weave?

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The question might be asked "Why weave?" Could I not easily find all the clothing and household linens in the nearby thrift store, while supporting local charity organizations? Yes. I already knit and sew, amongst other fibre- and fabric-related crafts. Why not buy the yardage on sale somewhere and speed up the process? Good question. 


I weave because it is a challenge and I love to explore new things and learn. That is my definition of being alive, to be continually learning. Weaving is certainly fulfilling these goals for me. You can start out with easy projects: maybe a frame loom, a rigid heddle loom; and learn the basics there. Soon my analytical mind wants to see how the bigger machines weave. I want to learn how to manipulate threads and looms to make fabric.  I love to challenge my mind and work on the careful threadings. Flexing the memory is a good thing as I age. When dressing the loom I might have to get into positions or stretches that are a bit challenging. Th…

Where am I? Preparing to Teach!

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Hey Hello Y'All!! Yes I am still alive and staying as busy as I can be. First off, I purchased a great quill set up from the TheFiberCafe.com. Here it is mounted on my Lendrum upright wheel. I have started to play with the spinning off the tip. And yes, I trimmed the plastic straw so that the bevelled tip of the spindle is exposed. I am trying to learn the Fast Flip method for winding on. So far so good!
I have been busy with many projects. The Nilus II loom received it's upgrade to 8 shafts plus I installed the flying shuttle beater. What a cool gadget that is. The learning curve has been very fast there. In this photo I have blue and green tencel warp with a variegated (blue and green, naturally) silk weft. This will probably be a shawl.
A few hours were taken up with this project. The ladies at the Llano knitting club made nearly 40 squares (knit) for a surprise present. One of the members is getting married and this blanket plus a pillow constituted the gift from the c…

Rejoice! Website is up!

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Rejoice Friends! I had a chance to get some expert help and now my new website is published to the web. You can check it out at www.mermaidknits.com

 There will be announcements of upcoming knitting class and a heads up for Guild members. Also my designs come up for sale periodically. And I am invited to show pieces from time to time.
 There will be lots of pictures of me. Because I give myself permission to show myself.
 Me, shaped like a munchkin. What happened to my legs? This is the Rainbow jacket I made this summer.
Even celebrities will flock to my website. Be the first one!

Loom Land

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And here are the "after" pictures. Isn't that Canadian Maple just a lovely glowing wood? It matches well with the tumbler of Forty Creek Whisky that sits atop the castle - also a Canadian beauty. So you can see there are two upright posts now, side by side. There are eight shafts and therefore ten treadles. This is part of the expansion from four shafts I mentioned previously. Yes, those are John Deere curtains I made for Mr. They are staying. He suggested that I should weave new curtains. Maybe once these ones fade too much in the sun.
 The view is from the left side. In the centre of the shot in the bold sunshine is the box for the new flying shuttle beater. The same box exists on the other side as well. A fancy shuttle with metal tips is propelled by a tug of the cord and races along the "race", across the beater to the other side, where it stops inside the box and awaits my command. This mechanism will speed up my throwing of the weft and also eliminates …

Giving Thanks

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It's time to give thanks for everything and everyone in my life. I don't take anything for granted. Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends! In Canada we already celebrated the turkey feast twice: once with neighbours and once alone with all the fixings that had been purchased before we had been invited over to their place.  Now in the US, we will contribute some fresh baked pan rolls and head over to friends for the big feast. I am so thankful for all the friends we have here and there! 

Why are you seeing this Tuff Shed image? Well Mr offered me 2/3 of the space inside this beautiful shed, so that I can spread out the crafting studio and truly take over the world. He has offered it before, but now that he is selling his giant motorcycle, there will actually be room in there. So today, if I get the chance, I will start to clear out some of the things and store them in another shed.


The shed is very nicely finished out and has two windows that open and the large double…

thankful for everything

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Basically what it boils down to is this. I am very thankful for the most wonderful man in my life, Mr,...otherwise known as BS.
BS has enthusiastically taken on two new and widely different lifestyles to be with me. No matter where I drag him, it is usually cold and yet he comes, unflinchingly.
I try to keep him warm with hand knits, and teaching him how to layer his clothing properly. I feed and water him routinely, trying to keep him a little larded up against the chill.
I am thankful for his good sense of humour and willingness to do all these new things. He's one heckuva guy!
He supports me through all the hobbies and schemes I have going. I love him dearly.

Heading Out

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Soon I will be locking up the studio, which is the space upstairs. Imagine the staircase and deck all in a pale silver  stain. I did that this summer. And also imagine all the ground around the studio white. Yup, there is snow on the ground and that means it is time to get out. The road we live on is not plowed, and before any significant amount accumulates, we need to scram out of here.

I always miss my studio a lot. This will be my sixth winter spent in the south, Texas to be more precise. I miss the open and flexible floor space I have in the studio. I miss the feeling of being in a treehouse. I miss seeing the lake when I sit on the deck, spinning. I brought a loom from the US that is on wheels, with the intention of wheeling it out on the deck too, but I did not get a chance to try that out.I also miss all my books.

Most of all I miss the tranquility and beauty of the boreal forest and the lake. To have this inspirational setting all around me is wonderful. Of course I have g…

Farewell to Sigi

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Today we lost our beloved female Norwegian Elkhound. A sudden lameness and possibly a tumour in her leg made it very hard for her to get around.

Sigi was a fabulous dog and we enjoyed sharing our lives together for nearly thirteen years.
Farewell old girl!

Autumn friends and a new trail

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This would be the brash Blue Jay. We normally have around nine at the feeder these days. They generally fight each other for the prime position on the feeder. The losers are left to feed off the ground. Not a bad situation, really.





 And this is the Camp Robber! A gray jay, formerly known as the Canada Jay; but my favourite name for it is the Whiskyjack, after my preferred beverage. It's called the Camp Robber because this gregarious, friendly bird will easily come to feed from your hand or snatch things from inside your tent or cabin. A robber disguised as a sweet little thing! We seem to have three of them mooching around the place right now.










And because I can't resist a little environmental destruction, yesterday I created a new trail in the bush. The autumn leaves are still falling and making for lovely scenes on Turtle Bay. The new trail meanders along the shoreline. In the spring parts of the trail will surely be underwater.






The environmental destruction is minimal. …

Early Fall is Exhilarating!

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Hello Dear Friends! I find this time of year so refreshing and creative. I love the cooler weather and the way the land is revealed to me, as the leaves come down.
First I want to brag about what my better half has been up to.
We had a great day recently with all types of weather coming to visit. That's the day we installed the big wooden frame to the south side of the brand new shed. It can hold 4 panels just as it is, although for now we are installing just two. As you can see from the first shot, the panels are up.


Here is the wider view. of course the scaffolding and ladders are now removed. As I post this news, Mr is wiring up the innards of the system and I hope today we have blinking lights all over the equipment!

And on to things I know more about.....KNITTING.



When a dear friend said she was moving in to a new home, I wanted to celebrate the event with a little housewarming gift. She thought about it for awhile and suggested cushions in light blue. She also indicated …

Mermaid Knits Registered!

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First the really BIG NEWS. I have registered a company in the name of Mermaid Knits. Is this my second career? We shall see how it goes. With more and more invitations to teach knitting and other fibre arts, I decided to formalize the work aspect. I've learned about the requirements for claiming US income on my Canadian tax form. I am about to learn about developing a web site. It's all very exciting for me. Wish me luck! And now on to current projects. The four balls of yarn here I spun up as energized singles. Two balls have Z twist and two balls have S twist. I deliberately spun them with a high degree of twist. It is quite unruly yarn. (wool and silk).
I found this pattern in my favourite pattern source, Walker's Second Treasury. Here it is called the Lace Ribbon Stitch. I know it is called Ric Rac Stitch in another book I have. It is a lovely pattern and with a strong vertical element that I was looking for. Now here's what I'm doing. I am knitting a rectang…

fox and more

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First off. Early this morning a local fox decided to have a nap just outside our livingroom window. At this point she had licked one leg (it seemed she might have been limping a little). And soon after the photo she put her head down and dosed for an hour.

And here is the rainbow jacket. It is knit using a shadow knitting technique. The diamond shape is only visible from some angles. Being wool, it will be a good fall jacket.
For the last few days I have been staining the studio stairs and deck. This was a large task. The milk crates in the foreground are protecting some painted turtle egg clutches. Altogether we have about thirteen or so protected. They should be hatching any day now.
The other big project is a small shed that will house new solar equipment. Panels will sit on the tall side of the shed. Today we got the shingles up on that steep roof. glad that chore is over too. BS is doing a great job building this.

Wearable Art by Texas Artists

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Announcing the Wearable Art by Texas Artists show running from September 9-29, 2014. The  Arnold Gallery in Mason, Texas is hosting this show. Thirteen very diverse artists will be exhibiting and I really wish I could copy the pdf poster to show you who all will be there. On opening day there are special events running all day including a spinning demo in the morning and weaving in the afternoon. I only wish that I could be there. Instead I am sending four of my creations.   This  shawl is just lovely to wear with a shawl pin in front.
 This poncho with a diversity of yarns was really fun to knit. One of the main yarns is a multi-coloured, multi-fiber yarn that I spun myself.
Here, not only can you see the funky handspun (yes, me again with an art yarn) "collar". Not sure what to call it. I bet it would look smashing on the little black dress. I am also caught giving the photographer a lesson on how to take the picture.  These fun fingerless gloves are in wool and were just…